Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Going home!

We just heard that we now have a UK passport for Hope - and so we can go home. That is such good news. We've been here four weeks and we always knew that the legal paperwork would take at least that long. But I was beginning to get really worried that we might be stuck here for much longer. My husband and son have already gone back. They left on Friday and yesterday my son was crying on the phone. It isn't great to have one child on one side of the Atlantic and one on the other. And this Minneapolis Hotel room was wearing pretty thin as well. But now we are going! The journey is quite daunting. And I won't really feel safe until we get through passport control at Heathrow. There is no reason at all why we should be detained. Everything we have done is within the law and Hope has both a US and a UK passport - but still I'm worried. The other problem is that her face is covered in those harmless spots which babies do get at about three weeks. I'm just going to go for the Big-Hat and Lid-Of-The-Maxi-Cosy-Up Otion and trust to good fortune. I can't believe that we are one day closer to the moment when Hope will just be a regular baby and we'll just be a regular Mum and Dad. We have never kept the circumstances of her birth a secret and we never will - but soon I think there just won't ever be much reason to talk about it.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hallmark cards

There are so many profoud things I could say right now. But instead I'll say something silly which is ....... now that Hope is born people find it easy to know what to say. They can just say 'congratulations.' Just as they would when any other baby is born. When we told people in England about the pregnancy, they didn't really know quite what to say. In particular, they didn't seem to want to ask anything about our surrogate Mum. I suspect that they thought that she was some semi-literate woman who has been impregnated against her will and locked in a cellar ...... Obviously people in America are a bit better informed. I'm particularly touched that people reading this blog have mentioned her and sent their love. I want that thanks and recognition for her because she did something extra-ordinary. But I don't blame people in England for their confusion and reticence. As my husband rightly says, 'Of course, people don't know what to say. After all, there isn't a Hallmark card which says Congratulations On Your Surrogacy And Donor Egg Pregnancy, is there?' He's right. There's a gap in the market there. But I think we'll probably have to wait a while before Hallmark make that card.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Here are pictures of Hope. Not particularly good pictures but I have had a computer problem and can't upload the better ones. She is doing fine - and we are doing fine. We have moved from Marshall now to Minneapolis where we have to get a birth certificated, US passport and UK passport. Our time in Marshall was wonderful. It's a really small-town place but amazingly friendly. We spent a lot of time there with our amazing surrogate Mum and her partner. We will see them again on Saturday as they are coming to Minneapolis for the day. It is so strange. Throughout this whole processs the Agency just kept saying to me, 'It'll work. You'll see. It'll work.' And I never really believed them - but they were right. I spent so much time worrying about our surrogate Mum and it wasn't until I was leaving the hospital that I finally got it. I finally really understood it. The truth is that their are woman who are born to be surrogate Mums. That is their vocation, their destiny. They can carry a baby in love and hand it over to another woman and still feel love - but also let go without grief or difficulty. I think you have to see that happen in order to believe it. God bless our surrogate Mum and all the other surrogate Mums as well. They are extra-ordinary women.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Hope Kinsella

Our daughter, Hope Kinsella, was born at 17.17 on Sunday. She is alive and well. And we are all doing fine. The last two days have been an extra-ordinary experience. I'm too tired to write more now but we are so, so happy. And we have no words to express our thanks to our amazing surrogate Mum and her partner. We are so very, very blessed.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Marshall, Minnesota

We got here! The journey was 24 hours and when we arrived we were all exhausted and disorientated. But we all had some sleep and now we are doing fine. In one hour we go to meet our surrogate Mum who we have never met before. I usually consider myself reasonably good at coping with most social situations. But having lunch with the woman who is carrying my husband's child may be a stretch! We are in a foreign country in so many different ways. But everything is actually going fine. I think that our day at the hospital will start at 6 am tomorrow morning. I'm scared of the birth. Very scared. And I'm scared about what I will feel when I see Hope. Except actually I'm not because I know that women have a hundred different reactions to the arrival of the baby - not all of them positive. And although birth is a big moment actually it isn't the birth that matters. It is the next eighteen or more years. And in the long term I know we'll be fine. I have never held a baby or been anywhere near one since Laura died. And I have had doctors tell me that I have PSTD and all that stuff. But actually I don't really accept that. And I have my husband and son with me and an amazing friend called Lin. And if I can't cope then they will. And once we get through this we have the rest of our lives to look forward to. And I will have a daughter - something that I thought I could never have.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The value of being attacked

I'm OK now - partly thanks to those two lovely messages. And actually what has happened does have its value. I remember that something like this happened to me once before in relation to my writing. A really horrible woman said to me. 'You have to realise that this is just a business, that's all it is. And you just have to write the book that the market requires. And nobody cares less about your creativity or what you want to write etc etc.' I was just so upset. But then after a while I felt really good because I realised how totally and completely I disagreed with her. So the fact that she said all of that actually confirmed and strengthened my position. After that I felt strong and sure of myself and my work in a way I never had done before. And it is a bit like that this time. This woman's unkindness has made me think, 'Actually I've spent far too much time worrying if what I'm doing upsets or offends some other person. And now I need to stop thinking about that.' And what I'm seeing now is our family - the four of us - and we're really together and strong and happy and no one can touch us. And I'm thinking, 'Actually this is our moment of happiness and, my God, we've waited a long time for it. But now it's here I'm going to take it and enjoy every moment of it.' And if there is anyone who doesn't want to share then they can pack their bags and go ..... Because I know that there are plenty of kind people - on the internet and in the wider world - who are prepared to share it and they are proper friends.

Saturday, 24 September 2011


I've been doing really well. It's hard but I've been managing. Until today. The story goes like this. A few months ago I was asked by someone in the local area if I could offer support to a woman who has recently lost a baby. Of course, I said yes. So I spent two or three evenings with this woman and her husband. For the sake of argument, let's call her Sarah and the lost baby (her fourth) Katie. During those evenings I didn't say anything much about myself. Instead I just let her talk. I think I was helpful to her. I certainly tried to be. I didn't tell her about the surrogacy because we weren't telling anyone at that time. But recently I decided I ought to let her know as I didn't want her to find out from someone else. So I sent a card telling her that I had some pregnancy related news and saying - if you don't want to know, that's absolutely fine. But she said she did want to know. So I sent a mail telling her as tactfully as possible. But then today I received a mail from her. She's accused me of not being direct with her, of failing to reply to her texts and e-mails (although she didn't send any). The mail finishes, 'Why isn't Katie interesting enough for you?' No mention of Laura, of course. I'm just so, so upset. It's so clear that this woman has never even seen me. I obviously simply don't exist for her. Of course, she is mad, mad with grief. But I've been mad with grief. We've many of us been mad with grief. And really it is no excuse. How much would it have cost her just to send a cheerful e-mail saying 'congratulations?' Even if she was just pretending. Couldn't she have just looked at my husband and me and thought, 'Those people deserve their baby, they deserve a little bit of luck?' So many other people have been really supportive. But there was always going to be one ...... But I find it particularly hurtful that it should be a bereaved Mum. And did she have to do this when I'm effectively eight months pregnant? I know I just have to lay it aside. It is her stuff not mine. I offered her something beautiful and she took it but afterwards she spat on me. It happens. But nevertheless I am devastated. It's horrible, really horrible.